WHAT IS CLASSIC REMARKS?
Classic Remarks is a meme hosted here at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
Leave your link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. And feel free to comment with your thoughts even if you are not officially participating with a full post!
(Readers who like past prompts but missed them have also answered them on their blog later and linked back to us at Pages Unbound, so feel free to do that, too!)
THIS WEEK’S PROMPT:
RECOMMEND A HOLIDAY CLASSIC
I know the default answer for this question is probably doing to be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but…I don’t really like A Christmas Carol, the book or any of the numerous movie adaptations.
Instead, I am recommending Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Also known as The Father Christmas Letters.)
Between 1920-1943, Tolkien wrote and illustrated letters from Father Christmas to his children. The result is highly imaginative, and often funny and exciting with the polar bears and elves and Father Christmas having various adventures and mishaps at the North Pole. The great thing is that you don’t have to read the whole book (I haven’t), but you can just dip in here and there to read a brief story about Father Christmas and his friends.
Now, personally I always struggle slightly with stories about Santa because which version is true??? For instance, I mentioned this when I reviewed Netflix’s Klaus last year. It’s a wonderful movie but also clearly an alternative version of Santa, so one must simply erase one’s mind of all other knowledge of Santa to immerse oneself in it. The same is true with Tolkien’s letters “written” by Father Christmas. Clearly they don’t align with whatever Christmas stories and films we have in 2020, so you just have to go with it. The journey is pretty fun if you do, however.
I also think it would be fun if this collection inspired more people to write creative letters from Santa. What kid wouldn’t want more than a brief, “Thanks for the cookies”?
Have you read this book?